Thrash Metal

Legion of the Damned – Descent Into Chaos Review

Legion of the Damned – Descent Into Chaos Review

Steel Druhm is a famously soft touch for a mean and angry thrash album. Because of this well know thrash predilection, I’ve celebrated the entire catalogue of Dutch death thrashers Legion of the Damned because these guys can really bring the pain. Over four albums, LOTD (formerly known as Occult) have consistently crafted intense, punishing thrash in the vein of old Slayer and Sodom mixed with the more modern death metal approach of bands like The Crown. They certainly aren’t reinventing the thrash metal genre in any way but they always produced quality material. Happily for thrash mavens, after a three year hiatus they manage to keep the spiked ball rolling with Descent Into Chaos and give yet another lesson in violence and aggressive thrashality.

Sodom – In War and Pieces Review

Sodom – In War and Pieces Review

Sodom, sweet Sodom, ever so reliable and happily predictable. They’re the thrash equivalent of your favorite concert t-shirt. It’s always there for you, it’s comfortable, beer soaked and you go way way back together. Since 1982 these German metal-meisters have given us thrash and more thrash with very little stylistic variation or experimentation and for most long time fans, that’s just how we want it. After all, Sodom always specialized in simple, brutal and dirty thrash metal with punk influences and they were proud to be a thrash band even when thrash wasn’t “cool” anymore. I never had to waste time worrying if they would start exploring jazz fusion, ambient soundscapes or become self important about the message in their music. No sir, Sodom was just Sodom. Thankfully, the comforting non-progression continues on In War and Pieces, their thirteenth platter and they continue to deliver their battle tested (and themed) thrash lunacy.

The Crown – Doomsday King Review

The Crown – Doomsday King Review

Comebacks. They ain’t so easy to pull off. For every band that produces a glorious reunion album there are four that crash, burn and damage their legacy. Earlier this summer we were blessed by an unexpectedly great reunion album from Accept and now Sweden’s The Crown have pulled off an equally monstrous comeback with Doomsday King. This is their first since 2006’s Possessed 13 and first with new vocalist Jonas Stalhammar (God Macabre) stepping in for Johan Lindstrand. However, make no mistake, this is The Crown of old and they’re storming with menace and out for blood! This is such a furious thrash/death assault that it’s hard to believe these guys were out of action for so long. Whatever they were doing during their down time, it obviously pissed them off and now they need to hurt somebody.

Death Angel – Relentless Retribution Review

Death Angel – Relentless Retribution Review

When California sons Death Angel came from nowhere and dropped their classic debut The Ultra-Violence on the metal world in 1987, yours truly was blown away in a pretty major way. That album, along with a handful of others, defined my metal youth and I still listen to it regularly to this day. Sadly, the minds behind that classic release could never record its equal and the albums that followed were always somewhat of a mixed bag. Nowhere has this trend been more evident than on release number six, Relentless Retribution.

Bonded by Blood – Exiled to Earth Review

Bonded by Blood – Exiled to Earth Review

Here comes another entry into the retro-thrash movement, for better or worse. Exiled to Earth is the second album by California thrashers Bonded by Blood and much like their debut, it’s firmly rooted in the 80’s thrash movement. Back in the days of the original thrash invasion, for every top-notch band like Slayer or Exodus, there were ten sub-par, generic clones like Atrophy, Devastation and Gothic Slam. Sadly, this release falls closer to the latter category.

Angelus Apatrida – Clockwork Review

Angelus Apatrida – Clockwork Review

Angelus Apatrida is a Spanish thrash metal band founded in the early 2000s, that is now putting out it’s third record, but Clockwork is the first for one of metal’s biggest labels: Century Media. So when I got this record, I just kinda went “who?” and went on with my day not thinking much of it. The name, which roughly translates to “fallen angels”, means nothing to me and has been sorta flitting in and out of my brain and while I was surprised to stick this in and hear thrash metal screaming at me (that’ll teach me to not read the bio first), I wasn’t really sure that there was anything here that would stick.

Witchery – Witchkrieg Review

Witchery – Witchkrieg Review

Hey, turns out that Witchery is releasing a new record in a few days. Far be it from me to not review this monster of a super group, especially given the news that got everyone pretty worked up: ex-Marduk vocalist Legion joined the band on vocals. Not only does this cement the band as serious super group (now sporting members or former members from Opeth, Seance, Bloodbath, Arch Enemy, Marduk, Devian, Spiritual Beggar, The Haunted, and Satanic Slaughter), but it adds a well-known quantity to the band. Turns out that Swedish scene is a tad bit inbred. But does this kind of caliber, and a back catalogue of well loved records mean that Witchery will hit home anew with their deathy brand of thrash metal in 2010.

Annihilator – Annihilator Review

Annihilator – Annihilator Review

No metal band has managed to frustrate and baffle me as consistently as Annihilator has over their long career. Their 1989 debut album Alice in Hell was a classic in the thrash genre and showed a band brimming with talent and energy. Founder, lead songwriter and guitarist Jeff Waters was hailed as a rising star and someone to watch closely. Since then, Annihilator has struggled mightily to live up to the hype garnered by their debut, and their subsequent albums have come nowhere near that level of quality. In fact, many of those albums were either complete disasters (Refresh the Demon, Remains, All for You) or near disasters (Set the World on Fire, Metal). Each time a new Annihilator release was set to drop, I would pray for greatness and a return to form but mostly get mediocrity. Now it’s 2010 and we get their thirteenth album, simply titled Annihilator, and again the goods are not delivered.

The Kandidate – Until We Are Outnumbered Review

The Kandidate – Until We Are Outnumbered Review

The Kandidate wasn’t what I was expecting. Like a mix of thrash metal and Agnostic Front, these Danish metallers have produced an album to which I am utterly blase. As Angry Metal Guy, it is my job to have really strong opinions about things one way or another, but instead I listen to this album and I just.. don’t hear much that I want to come back to. On the other hand there’s not much to dis. It’s just an all-in-all mediocre record by a band I’ve never heard before.